Re: [OPE-L] From Keith Tribe

From: Christopher Arthur (arthurcj@WAITROSE.COM)
Date: Sat Aug 12 2006 - 12:27:10 EDT

All the editions are out in new MEGA. The French is MEGA II/7. There
are at least 3 places in UK where they can be consulted. BL, Marx
Memorial Library, Sussex University Lib.
Chris A
On 10 Aug 2006, at 14:09, Rakesh Bhandari wrote:

> Dear Rakesh Bhandari,
> Thanks for your interesting query which I found in my Sussex mailbox -
> that
> is however only a convenience address, I am an independent scholar in
> fact
> and this is the address you should use in future.
> I am intrigued by the idea that people still do discuss these issues.
> As
> far as answering your question goes, I would probably stand by the
> arguments
> I made in 1974, with some qualification.  I think it would be true to
> say
> that from the later 1970s until last year I had looked at Marx's
> writings no
> more than two or three times - I find Max Weber a far more interesting
> analyst, of capitalism as well.
> However, last year I retranslated the Zasulich letters for Cambridge
> UP and
> I was shocked at what I read.  I knew in the 1970s that Marx's analytic
> capacities waned, the Ethnographic Notebooks make this clear, but the
> Zasulich drafts just go round and around.  Poorly structured, poorly
> argued.
> He refers to the French edition of Capital to conceal his change of
> mind on
> the universality of his analysis of capitalism, I have looked again at
> the
> material in the Shanin collection Late Marx but incline to the view
> that
> Marx refers to the French edition to effect this concealment, since,
> so far
> as I know, he does not revise the text in the same way for the second
> German
> edition.  I am a bit hampered in all this since there is no French
> edition
> in any British library so far as I can tell (I have an online version
> now
> but it is the wrong edition, a reprint and not the original); the
> second
> edition is only in the British Library, not in Oxford or Cambridge; and
> there is no copy of the newer Gesamtausgabe in Oxford, my nearest
> source.  I
> have the Dietz Werke but that is useless, it is the wrong edition of
> Capital
> and the editors have modernised the text - I do have a facsimile of the
> first edition and was surprised to see that in the Werke reprint of the
> preface to the first edition all emphases have gone and it has been
> reparagraphed.  So that rather makes you think they would have done
> other
> things as well.
> So far as reading Capital goes, you need to use only the first and
> second
> German editions read against the (original) French edition.  Anything
> else
> is a waste of time.  The second German edition revises the structure
> and
> ordering of material (within chapters) quite heavily, drawing
> attention to
> the fact that the argument is not especially tight in the first place.
> (This is the sort of thing you latch on to as a translator searching
> for a
> cited passage - the text keeps on looking as though it is about to
> come out
> with the formulation you are looking for, and then it veers away and
> starts
> again).  I have not had a chance to look at how the Gesamtausgabe
> deals with
> all this editorially, but hope to get to London this month and will go
> to
> the BL and take a look.
> In the 1980s I read a paper which argued very convincingly that Marx
> had
> intended there to be two volumes to Capital and that the two further
> volumes
> that Engels generated ran together duplicate material from the
> different
> attempts Marx made to complete the project, summarised in his own
> words some
> original material, and even in some cases wrote bridging sections of
> his
> own.  One can argue of course about Engels' understanding, but if we
> are
> arguing about Marx's Capital there is in fact only one volume, in the
> three
> versions I note above.
> Marx certainly had all sorts of ideas about extending his work - most
> writers do - but the evidence, even from Grundrisse, is that he was
> never
> very good at organising his material in an effective way and so the one
> volume he did complete is the best he could do with all his plans.
> (Alfred
> Marshall had a similar problem!)
> I'd be interested in your reaction to these comments, and look forward
> to
> hearing from you,
> Keith Tribe
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Keith Philip Tribe []
> Sent: 08 August 2006 19:00
> To:
> Subject: Fwd: Grossman on Capital
> ----- Forwarded message from Rakesh Bhandari <> --
> ---
> From: Rakesh Bhandari <>
> To:
> Subject: Grossman on Capital
> Date: Fri, 4 Aug 2006 07:44:23 -0700
> Dear Professor Tribe,
> I participate on a private list serve (OPE-L) dedicated to the
> discussion of
> Marx's political economy. I recently mentioned your piece on Marx's
> method
> from 1974. Strong objections have  been expressed to the idea that Marx
> abandoned his six book plan; people are adamant that Capital is in
> fact a torso
> of a larger projected work. Enrique Dussel has even suggested that
> Marx completed
> only 1/16th of his project. I was wondering whether you would like to
> discuss these issues again. This was the last message which I wrote. I
> am
> wondering whether I have understood you correctly:
> One question though is whether Marx said what he meant to say about
> wage labour
> within the constraints of the actual plan of his work.
> So what was the plan of his work? What is the relation between the six
> volume
> and four volume plan? I think Tribe/Grossman are correct that the
> latter
> represents a break with the previous six volume plan.
> To see this we can't reduce Marx's debt to Quesnay to the
> reproduction schema only. This is what Fred [Moseley] has done, I
> think.
> The debt to Quesnay is present in the architectonic of of the three
> volumes of Capital as a whole.
> The first volume studies the production of the net product; the
> analysis of the net product depends on distinction between constant
> and variable capital, and the second
> volume focuses on the interdependence between the two productive
> departments of
> means of production and wage goods as realized in exchange; the third
> volume then studies the process of reproduction as a whole, including
> both the limits to that process of reproduction (FROP) and
> the integration of the new elements-- the credit mechanism, the other
> forms of capital (commercial
> and banking) and  landed property.
> Marx moves successfully from an abstracted study of the production of
> the net product  to a theory of the reproduction of capital as a
> whole. The third volume is dynamic and concrete, and the
> dis-simulating surface appearances  of capitalist society (e.g. the
> trinity formula) are indeed theoretically explained.
> Marx's Capital is thus a theoretical whole, not a torso. But to say
> this is not to say that more need
> not be said about wage labor or credit or landed property or the world
> market.
>   Marx did however complete the study of the very object his study
> created--an "ideal-typical" capitalist mode of production.
> But what is the nature of this ideal type? Weberian or not? What do
> we think of the Unonist interpretation? Or Leswak Nowak's?
> These are of course fundamental questions which I think the archive
> will show have been understudied
> on OPE-L.
> In many ways this is the fundamental question about Marx's
> method--what is the relationship between
> the six and four volume plans?
> Which one of Oakley's possibilities is correct?
> ----- End forwarded message -----

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